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Yearly Takeaways

Lo and behold, a dynamic record of the most potent lesson I learned (or relearned) that year.

Last updated: 2021/03/08


2021: ???

It's the Year of the Ox. The "Be Beef" mantra continues!

2020: This too shall pass

Such an insane year! I adopted a mantra of "Be Beef [not Chicken]" to get through it but there sure were some tough spots. The thing I took away from it all was temporariness: the idea that many things can be short-lived. It should not be the cause of anxiety but an awareness of how ephemeral everything is.

2019: Just because you said it doesn't mean they'll get it

What a mishmash of good and bad. So much happened this year, yet it sometimes feels like nothing happened. Yet there's one thing I keep running into in every facet of life: communication is difficult

It is important to realize that your words once said or read may have had varying degrees of interpretation. Because of this variance, it's important to choose your words carefully and strive for clarity at all times. Maybe.

2018: Act to Win

A seminar at work was very useful in learning about disconnecting one's "self" from a problem in order to clearly solve it. Disconnecting oneself is a brilliant tactic. However, as good as that lesson was, I still need to give it up for Sun Tzu's lesson about victory which I keep learning over and over again but more so this year.

Basically, only perform actions when you're certain to reach the goal. The corollary is don't perform actions that yield little or no results. Avoid gambles. Study the scenario. If the goal is too lofty, change the environment or the goal so that the action can lead to the goal. In others words, act and react to attain positive results and avoid negative ones.

2017: Savor the good slowly; resolve the bad quickly.

What a year. So much happened but I can distill it into a simple life lesson. If something bad happens, take the hit and recover or heal as fast as you can. Don't dwell too much on it. If something good happens, don't rush! Take your time. Enjoy it. In other words, prolong happy events and cut negative ones short.

2016: Never say never again.

One's conviction changes over time and also with new experiences. Something a person strongly believed in 10 years ago, they may scoff at today. I would say trust no one but that's too cynical. Rather I like to think of it as people are unpredictable. They are capable of anything -- even things they say they'll never do.

2015 Recalling is difficult so store data on computers.

This was the year I started using password managers. The relief of not having to remember some odd password for a rarely used account is amazing. It's best to save your mental energy for other things and rely on data storage wherever possible.


I've had to write the Years below much after they occurred since I only started this activity in 2015.

2014: ???

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2013: Most Solutions are Simply Obvious

I was miserable. After countless failures and difficult choices, I finally succeeded but with success, comes anxiety of new failures and difficult choices. My body was breaking down; I may have been puking out my insides! I sought professional help. I can't remember her name but just from one session, I was put on the path to recovery. Somewhere in that one session, I took this away: you have to do what makes you happy, if you want to be happy.

It's pretty obvious, right? To achieve any goal, you must work towards it. Duh! And just like goals, to be in a specific state, you must perform steps to get into that state. No need to overthink it. Most solutions are like that. If you are in trouble, obviously seek help.

2012: You can get what you want and still be unhappy

2012 was a year where I achieved so many "life goals" and earned things that I always wanted or thought would make me happy. Yet I was not happy.

Some of those accomplishments manifested in ways I did not expect, often with results that had negligent or even negative impact. Your dreams can come true; just not in the way you might expect them.

2011: Don't Question your Motivation; Use it!

I tweeted this back in 2011 and it still holds true for me today. If you're suddenly motivated to do something beneficial, just do it...even if the motivation is shallow or otherwise questionable. Use the energy it grants and get the results.

2010: ???

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